Its almost the end of the GSoC internship. From zero knowledge of Android to writing a proposal, proposal getting selected and finally 3 months working on the project was a great experience for me! I have learned a lot and I am really thankful to Jishnu Mohan for mentoring throughout .
Contributions include :-
All the tasks mentioned in the proposal were discussed and worked upon.
I started with making the designs of the layouts. The task was to make Santali Olchiki and Soni layouts for the keyboard. I looked at the code of the other layouts to get a basic understanding of how phonetic and inscript layouts work. Snapshot of one of the view of Santali keyboard :
Language Support Feature
While configuring languages, the user is prompted about the locales that might not be supported by the phone.
Adding Theme Feature
Feature is added at the setup to enable user to select the keyboard theme
Merging AOSP code
After looking at everything mentioned in the proposal, Jishnu gave me the job of merging AOSP source code to the keyboard as the current keyboard doesn’t have changes that were released along with android M code drop because of which target sdk is not 23 . There are a few errors yet to be resolved and I am working on that 😀
Overall, it was a wonderful journey and I will always want to be a contributor to the organisation as it introduced me to the world of open source and opened a whole new area to work upon and learn more.
Link to the discourse topic : https://discourse.indicproject.org/t/indic-keyboard-project/45
Thank You! 😀
My next task was to show instead of all layouts, filter them on the basis of language. My first option I decided to do filtering based on locale. So instead of ACTION_INPUT_METHOD_SUBTYPE_SETTINGS we can use ACTION_LOCALE_SETTINGS but the problem here was that it was giving a list of all the locales in the system instead of the locales in our app. So I skipped this idea. And then decided to create a list and enable users selection on that. But there was no way to connect that to enabled system subtypes. I was stuck on this for quite some time .We ditched the plan and moved on to the “Theme selection” task.
I am currently working on the Theme Selection task . I have successfully added the step . But now I am working on adding the fragment instead of the whole activity . After I am done with this, I will move to adding the images of the themes. I will hopefully complete this task by the weekend.
Also , after a meeting with the mentor, it is decided that after this task I will work on merging AOSP source code to the keyboard as the current keyboard doesn’t have changes that were released along with android M code drop because of which target sdk is not 23 . So my next task will be merging AOSP code which will give the benifit of run time permissions. 😀
The week started with continuing the task for detection of supported locales. I was facing some problems initially. I was trying to first change the contents of a static file during runtime which I later realised couldn’t be done. So as directed by mentor I changed the approach and decided to prompt the user at the setup time about which languages might not be supported by the phone.
It looks something like this:
Unfortunately my system crashed and the later part of my time was given to formatting the laptop,taking backup, installing the OS and re-setup of the project. Then I went home for my parents wedding anniversary for 3 days.
My next task : Improving the setup wizard . Since the user might not be interested in all the languages , so instead of showing all the layouts at once , we are planning to first ask the user to chose the language and then the corresponding layout in it. I have to discuss more with Jishnu regarding this task.
I am given the task to detect whether a language is supported by the keyboard or not. In my phone Punjabi is not supported so I did all the testing with that. Whenever a language is not supported it is displayed as blank so that gave me an idea on how I will work on this issue. So I created the bitmap for all the characters of the language and compared it with an empty bitmap. So If the language was not supported it had empty bitmap and I declared it as not supported.
I have to improve on : Currently it is checking every time when the keyboard is opening. So I will do it such that it checks for all languages during the setup wizard and stores the info.
My task for next week is checking in setup wizard for all languages and in the list displaying the languages which cannot be supported as not supportable so that the user can know.
I started with making the designs of the layouts. The task was to make Santali Olchiki and Soni layouts for the keyboard. I looked at the code of the other layouts to get a basic understanding of how they were working.
It took some time to understand how the transliteration codes were working.I did changes in the ime submodule for the layout. I messed up with the locale names and fixed that later. The changes were merged! Then I updated the submodule on the Indic keyboard branch .
Santali Olchiki Layout
Previously I made the inscript layout of Santali Olchiki but after discussion with the mentor, it was decided to work on the phonetic layout as it can fit in smaller layout and thus easier to type too. I made the design of the keyboard and wrote the code for it and tested on the device. It is coming out fine too.
After that I explored various keyboard apps to see their setup wizards.
My task for the next week is to detect whether a language is supported by the system or not. I am planning to do it by checking if a character is typed it gives empty results or not. I will look for other ways too. I will update about the progress in the next blog.
This week started with the successful gradle build of the project on my system.The build was successful with version of gradle : 2.13, SDK version : 22 , build tools version : 22.0.1 . After that I deployed the app on the emulator and on my phone. I am currently working on making Santali Olchiki and Soni layouts for the keyboard.
In the initial weeks of Community Bonding, I learned Java and Android and made a sample app on Android.
Then I started working on building Indic Keyboard on my system . First problem that I faced was of gradle version. Then maven was not working on proxy net which extended the building process. I am new to android so many errors came, and it took some time to resolve them. Currently stuck on exception on processDebugResources . My work for the week includes Santali and Soni Keyboard layouts. Building Indic Keybaord on the system is taking longer than I expected.
After I had successfully completed the setup of libindic on my system. My next target was looking for bugs and solving them. So I started playing around with the modules and started looking for bugs.
The first module that I started with was Soundex. The module was not showing proper results , so I started to work on that . I added conditions for the inter and intra language cases and the module started to work fine after that. I made a pull request to merge the changes.I was new to open source , so initially I faced hurdles like travis test failure. I used to check my mail almost all day to see if the changes were merged or not. After successful merge of my first pull request, I was very happy! 😀 This gave me motivation to explore more modules and work on them.
The next module that I worked on was Spellchecker. I realized that the dictionaries taht were used didn’t have many words. So I started looking for more datasets(ILCI, ILMT, WikiDump, IITB Hindi Wordnet )and started to make dictionaries out of them. Since they were huge corpus, I spent my whole week sitting in the lab day and night watching the code run .
Next module and the one which I enjoyed the most working on was the Scriptrender module. The pdf generated from the urls had alignment problems , so I decided to work on that. I started looking for python libraries and pdfkit library solved the alignment problems. So I made a pull request. But there were some rendering problems with the Malayalam Font and complex script rendering was broken. Slowly, many people from the community got involved in helping me get better results. And I started to try different fonts.”Meera” font solved the problem. And we got the desired results. The appreciation for my work gave me a lot of confidence to work more. While working on this module , I realized how helpful everyone in the community was , which gave me courage to work more.
Next was the IndicStemmer module. The community already had stemmer for Malayalam . I made stemmers for Hindi and Punjabi . I followed research papers for the rule based approach for the 2 languages and implemented them. Whenever I am bored, I start adding quotes to the fortune corpus for Hindi and really enjoy reading them .
I really enjoy contributing to the modules and will continue exploring them whenever I get time . Primary focus is my GSoC project. ( yes , thats what the next blog post will be about :D)